Pikes Peak area resident and Florissant Fossil Beds Ranger Jeff Wolin has helped the National Park Service receive a Gold Seal Award for children’s music from the Parent’s Choice Foundation, a highly sought after honor for children’s music.
Last fall, Wolin along with a team of rangers, musicians, youth, and park partners released, “Songs for Junior Rangers, “a children’s CD about our national parks. “We worked really hard to make a quality album that will be enjoyed by the whole family. We hope that it inspires folks to visit and enjoy their parks. I am so grateful to all of the team members and partners and am honored that the album was chosen for this award. It’s a biggie in the kid’s music world,” says Wolin. The Parent’s Choice Foundation is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys.
“Songs for Junior Rangers,” was produced by the National Park Service for all of its parks. It was funded by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, and distributed by Eastern National, a non-profit cooperating association.
In his online review for Parent’s Choice, Lahri Bond says, “Raise your hand if you were ever a Junior Ranger in our National Parks system. Songs for Junior Rangers is for everyone, and brings the joys of our national parks to you through very cleverly written and educational music.” “Songs for Junior Rangers” contains 20 tracks contain catchy lyrics about national parks designed to both entertain and educate children. Portions of the proceeds of the album will remain in a fund for Junior Ranger projects throughout the service.
The songs cover a variety of subjects, including elk in “Wapiti Hoppity,” caving in “Spelunka Funka,” glaciers in “Frozen Bulldozin’,” and Mount Rushmore in “Four Presidents.” Musical elements include hip hop, reggae, blues, jazz, rock, zydeco, funk, and even polka.
The CD is available at the Florissant Fossil Beds bookstore in the new visitor center. It is also available online from http://www.eparks.com/store. You can preview three of the songs – “Humps, Hooves, and Horns,” “La Gran Garza Azul,” and “Run Fish Run” – on YouTube. For more information, and for free downloads, you can visit the website for the album at http://www.nps.gov/flfo/forkids/junior-ranger-music.htm.
Park rangers from New Orleans Jazz and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument appear on the album as well as many talented New Orleans musicians, and youth such as Navajo singer/songwriter Krishel Augustine and the Youth Ambassador Program from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. The album also features celebrity guests such as the a cappella group Committed, the Grammy nominated children’s group Trout Fishing in America, and PBS personality Aaron Nigel Smith.
To read the full review you can go the Parent’s Choice Foundation website at www.parents-choice.org